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Mani-art to nail this year…

What better way to take advantage of some seasonal downtime than practicing your nail art skills?

Written by Jenny Brownlees
Published 01.01.2022

‘Tis the season for on-trend nail art. To fill you with inspiration, we’ve looked to our favourite nailfluencers to discover the must-have styles of the moment, to let you in on what’s hot as the weather cools.

Nail colour trends mimic the season right now with warm burgundies, lustrous browns and rich jewel tones ruling. Depending on your style preference, the following designs are perfect to pair with your favourite cosy knit for December, or to add a bit of sparkle to the party season. We’ve also added ideas for chic takes on Christmas nails, and handy cheats in case your hand isn’t the steadiest!

Whether you want to try DIYing the following looks at home, or are simply looking for inspiration to take to your next in-salon appointment, the following manis will ensure you nail (pun intended) the trends of the moment. It’s time to sit down with your gingerbread latte and plan your next nail look…

Gimmie Gingham

Gingham and plaid = the epitome of cosy vibes, making the trend perfect for a winter manicure. There’s an abundance of ways to work the checked style, but we love @beautyworksbyamy version. The Teesside-based nail artist is making waves on Instagram, loved for her fashion-forward creations. Here, she showcases a beautiful burnt leaf coloured gingham, so simple yet so effective.

If red is your go-to nail colour for December, make like @sammismanis and work the gingham trend in the festive shade. @mousenails700 has made the case for black gingham making it focus of her middle digits, set against luxe-looking berry polish. Personally, we will be upping the festive feels by trying both tree-green and jewel toned gingham styles. To create the look, use a long liner brush like Peacci’s to create three thick stripes down and across the nail in a grid pattern. Once dried, the key to making your gingham design pop is going over the squares where the lines cross with another coat of your chosen polish, adding a 3D effect. P.S for all our looks, we prep and set with OPIs base and topcoat the key to a long-lasting mani.

O.P.I - Start to Finish - £15.50

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Peacci - Khaki - £10.00

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Peacci - Liner Brush - £10.80

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Barry M - Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint, Plum Jam - £3.99

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Boots - Essie Nail Colour 106 Go Overboard Nail Polish - £7.99

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Starry, Starry Night

The festive season calls for upping the sparkle, in our opinion. Whether you channel Middlesbrough-based influencer @emilyjanelathan by adding silver glitter stars on nude, or opt for minimal sparkle on the nail tips like @betina_goldstein the following polishes bring glittering shine a-plenty. If you feel confident giving nail art stars a go at home, we use Peacci’s detail brush to precisely trace our shapes. If you’re not blessed with a steady hand, don’t stress cheat the look à la @neckpain_nails with Nail Inc’s Starry polish, or use Shrine or Ciate’s cheat sheets to fake your way to expert nail art with none of the faff.

Ciate London - The Cheat Sheets Vol 2 Nail Art Stickers - £16.00

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Peacci - Detail Brush - £10.80

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Barry M - Limited Edition Nail Paint, Glace - £3.99

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Nails Inc - Showstopping Spitalfields Star Confetti Topper Nail Polish - £8.00

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Café Latte

Once you’ve mastered using a fine detail brush, the nail art world is your oyster. If you’ve never tried a style before, we often practise our shapes on a scrap piece of paper pre-mani. When it comes to creating hearts, stars, swirls and checks practise makes perfect, and you’ll find you can soon master a variety of styles.

To recreate the above looks, we love Peacci’s Woody polish, and at just £3.99 each, are seriously impressed by Barry M’s new Nude Gelly collection each shade is perfect to be worn on its own, but the entire tonal range is ideal to mix and match.  Whether you opt for romantic hearts like @thehotblend, take inspiration from @heygreatnails with graphic lines or try minimal swirls akin to @nailsbyalsn  the above shades all complement each other perfectly. We love how @overglowedit has made summer’s kitschy cow print and chequered nails work for fall by creating each style in a coffee-toned hue.

Peacci - Woody - £10.00

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Barry M - Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint, Espresso - £3.99

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Barry M - Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint, Tiramisu- £3.99

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O.P.I - Coastal Sand-tuary Nail Polish - £13.90

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Fashionably festive

Nailberry has the perfect nude to recreate the base for each of these four stylish looks we’re going to recreate @beautyspace_charlotte ‘s minimal trees, dipping our detail brush into Mavala’s Cyber Gold polish. Or, after creating a neutral base, why not use Rimmel’s sparkly red to imitate @amberjhnails’ festive take on French tips.

Elsewhere, @nailsbypaulin has made Christmas nail art look sleek and modern, thanks to silver glitter details and choosing just one finger to add the statement snowflake design too. If you love the idea of a festive manicure but don’t fancy kitsch characters, make like @x_nailsbymichelle_x and use a fine brush to add red and white minimal candy canes upon nude. Ultra-chic.

John Lewis - Nailberry L'Oxygene Oxygenated Nail Lacquer, Au Naturel - £15.00

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Superdrug - Rimmel Glitter Nail Polish Top Coat, Ruby Crush - £3.99

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LookFantastic - Mavala Cyber Chic Mini Colour Nail Varnish, Cyber Gold - £5.50

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 Swirl, Girl

Glitter lovers rejoice, this is the season to embrace sparkle. We’ll personally be copying @amberjhnails using Nail’s Inc’s gold glitter to creating flowing shapes across each nail. The great thing about the following designs is they’re abstract, AKA you can’t get them wrong. We love how @hels.gels has used multiple glitters to create a party-ready look that’ll work for the whole of December, and the New Year too.

Local nail artist extraordinaire @beautyworksbyamy triumphs once again with her swirled design, incorporating the café latte colours into her 70s-inspired look why not tick off two trends in one, using Peacci’s liner brush to recreate these psychedelic swirls? No worries if it’s not an exact match, artistic licence is encouraged here!

We like how @heygreatnails has used both glitter and gloss polish in one look. The ‘festive but with a fashionable twist’ style is right up our street.

O.P.I - Rich Girls and Po-Boys Nail Lacquer - £13.90

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Superdrug - Essie 275 A Cut Above Pink Glitter Nail Polish - £7.99

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Barry M - Crystal Rock Textured Nail Paint - £2.99

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Nails Inc - Flaunt It Fitzrovia Bioglitter Nail Polish - £8.00

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